I recently watched this video from Ellen.
She's right. Bullying is bad. Suicide is worse.
How do we stop it?
Maybe the first thing I do is tell my kids: "Listen, between you, me & God, we can solve anything. Come to me & Dad if you have a problem. There is NOTHING you can do to make me stop loving you."
Maybe the second thing I do is tell them: "Listen, if I hear that you are being a bully, I am going to knock you into next week."
Isn't that the real problem? We don't think our kid can be the bully. I am working hard to raise good men, but I know that my boys are fully capable of being the bully. If you see them acting like little assholes, tell me.
Maybe the kid from Rutgers didn't know that his parents would have gotten over the video. Maybe that wasn't the problem. He's gone, so we'll never know.
As I've posted before, I was bullied as a kid. Mercilessly.
When I was a kid, I was the only fat one in class. Some years there was one more, but never more than the two of us. I remember one girl named Patty. I've always felt grateful that my name is not Patricia, because Fatty Patty is a horrible nickname.
Fortunately, I have supportive parents who helped me through the bullying. My parents never let us bully each other, either. We beat the crap out of each other (actually, I beat the crap out of my little brothers & sister until they got big enough to hit me back) but unkindness was not tolerated.
Sometimes, however, I was the bully. Not just to my brothers & sister. Occasionally there was some poor schmuck who was below me on the geek food chain. Instead of being compassionate and friendly, since I knew how they felt, I was stupid enough to be mean.
I will never forget in 7th grade how mean I was to a boy in our class named Jim. Jim was chubby, quiet, and really smart in kind of a wierd way. I was as mean to him as I possibly could be. I called him names, I teased him, I talked about him behind his back, I think I even put glue on his jacket. Mean.
He wasn't in any of my classes in 8th grade, and I didn't see much of him during high school.
The summer after my senior year, he came into the McDonald's where I worked as cashier.
He was tall. Strong. Broad shouldered. Clear skinned. Piercing blue eyes. Shiny black hair. Chiseled abs. He got CUTE!
He didn't give me the time of day.
Served me right.
I still don't know how to stop bullying. Do you?